Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announced a positive test result for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in the northeastern town of Ossipee. This finding raises the risk level for the town of Ossipee from “Remote” to “High.” The surrounding towns of Tamworth, Madison, Freedom, Effingham, Wakefield, Brookfield, Wolfeboro, Tuftonborough, and Moultonborough will increase to “Moderate” risk level.
“This is not the first animal in New Hampshire to test positive for EEE this season,” said DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero, “however this particular finding is in an area of the State where we haven’t had positive EEE results in several years. This underscores the importance for everyone, no matter where you live in the State, to take steps to prevent mosquito bites until there is a killing frost statewide.”
So far this season New Hampshire’s Public Health Lab has tested 4717 batches of mosquitoes. Of those, 20 tested positive for EEE and 13 tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). One person was diagnosed with WNV, and one other horse has tested positive for EEE.
EEE is a serious disease that carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck. There is no treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma. Symptoms usually occur 4 to 10 days after being bitten. Symptoms of WNV disease often appear 4 to 10 days after being bitten. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider.
Questions about EEE and WNV can be answered by calling the toll free EEE/West Nile Virus hotline at 1-866-273-6453. You can also find the latest arboviral extensive information about both diseases on the DHHS website www.dhhs.nh.gov.